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Self and Text in Unamuno's "Amor y pedagogía"

Marilyn D. Rugg
Anales de la literatura española contemporánea
Vol. 17, No. 1/3 (1992), pp. 347-364
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27742023
Page Count: 18
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Self and Text in Unamuno's "Amor y pedagogía"
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Abstract

Miguel de Unamuno's second novel, "Amor y pedagogía" (1902), breaks with the nineteenth-century novelistic tradition in style, form and content as it engages in a radical questioning of the nature of literary discourse. Its highly unorthodox structure, consisting of a nuclear story about a fictional writer and a series of framing sections that deal with various topics, introduces the problem of narrative closure and points to a subversion of the mimetic function of the novel. Analysis of the relationship between the nuclear story and the various prologues, epilogues and other addenda reveals an overarching concern with the figure of the author and the nature of his presence in the text. The fictional story of Apolodoro Carrascal gives way to a description of Unamuno's own writing process, and Unamuno's equivocal position with regard to the text underscores the problematic relationship between author and text that pervades not only Unamuno's later works but twentieth-century literature and criticism in general. The self-referential narrative becomes also the narrative of self-definition, allowing for the exploration of the text's possibilities for signification and the limits inherent in the self as text.

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